All the news that’s fit for you (II)

5 11 2009

Economic crises have a strange way of catalyzing market and policy innovation. The Great Recession is no different. In the midst of rising unemployment, increasing poverty and battered industries, the next economy is slowly coming into view. The Seattle region may just lead the way. But it won’t be easy. To maximize Seattle’s strengths as an innovative, progressive city, renewed civic collaboration and shrewd government intervention, on the small and large scale, will be necessary. This next economy will be a low (or at least reduced) carbon economy, altering our energy sources, the products we buy, the location and form of our communities, and how we get around…And, perhaps most important, it will be metropolitan led: http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/1012_seattle_katz.aspx

Sure, there are scare campaigns for cars out there, but what if we just cut to the chase. Much like smoking. Only a couple of decades ago cigarettes were an integral part of life, whether you smoked or not. That has changed radically. I am certainly not comparing the dangers of smoking to the dangers of driving, I just think that we could borrow freely from the health warnings now found on cigarette packs around the world: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/07/driving-kills-health-warnings.html

How Detroit, the Motor City, turned into a ghost town; Wall Street is celebrating a recovery in the US economy, but the future looks increasingly bleak in America’s industrial heartland: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/01/detroit-michigan-economy-recession-unemployment/print

The real reason for Detroit’s immense population flows seems not to be the car industry, but the car itself. The rise of the suburb has contributed to the fall of the inner city. The figure shown above provides startling information about the relation between the construction of express ways and the condition of the inner city. In fact Detroit is drained by the mass introduction of the car, and has become dependent on the construction of them at the same time. Detroit’s population halved within 50 years, changing the city from a vibrant metropolis into an urban vacuum: http://popupcity.net/2009/10/how-the-car-drained-detroit/

AARP’s “Living in a Post-Car World”…Ray LaHood (R): “People want alternative forms of transportation; they don’t want to own two or three cars. And they want green space, biking and walking paths, but they want the amenities, too—access to shopping, restaurants, health care”: http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourworld/gettingaround/articles/living_in_a_post_car_world.html

Really, really, really, really, really neat-o keen potential innovations in mobility: http://www.terreform.org/projects_mobility_dot.html

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